The Congress today alleged corruption in the government's e-marketplace portal and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to order a probe after eight BJP MPs including a union minister complained of a "major scam". Incharge of Congress' communications department, Randeep Surjewala said that the charges of corruption have been levelled not by the Opposition but by the BJP MPs including Union Minister Faggan Singh Kulhaste in a letter to Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitaraman. He said in the letters, the MPs have expressed apprehension that some people could use the portal for making quick money thus causing loss of crores to the exchequer. The Congress leader said Kulhaste and eight MP's alleged "a massive scam" in the government's e-marketplace (GeM) portal due to "irregularities" and "malpractices". He said when government buys on the GeM, the rates are more than the rate contract and the government bears a loss of crores. If one compares the rates from other private e-portals then rates by which government buys through GeM portal is much higher, he added. Surjewala said the MPs complained that the rate of many of the commodities sold on the portal are more than the contract rates, citing in this regard the example of electronics energy metres sold on the portal. "The question is if there is no transparency in the sale of commodities through the GeM, why was the portal launched by the NDA government. Despite eight BJP MPs including a union minister writing a letter to the Commerce Minister, why the government has not given any response and fixed accountability. "Does this not reek of corruption to those who matter? If so, will Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has been saying, 'Na Khaunga Na Khane Doonga (will neither take bribes nor allow anyone to do so)', launch an investigation and take any action in the matter," the Congress leader asked. Among those who have written about the alleged corruption include BJP MPs Ashok Nete, Kaushal Kishore, Alok Sanjay, Harish Dwivedi, Rajesh Dwivedi and Arjun Lal Meena, besides another BJP MP. "It is estimated that the scam involves hundreds of crores," Surjewala said quoting the MPs. Reading out a few lines from the letter of Ajay Nishad to Sitharaman, he said, "GeM has much inheritance, technical and procedural issues that have made existing GeM portal a hub of corrupt practices for several sellers and buyers due to which there are huge financial losses to buyers of Government of India, Ministries and Departments." It also said "There have been many cases of irregularities wherein officials have taken advantage of technical and procedural gaps of the GeM." The MP alleged that it is clear that certain individuals in DGS&D are trying their level best to escape with the liabilities causing corruption and huge loss to the exchequer. Surjewala also claimed that the Congress will stage a big victory in the Delhi Municipal elections on April 23. Quoting an internal poll survey, he claimed that the Congress will win 208 out of 277 municipal wards.
He said the survey has a sample size of 52,000 people from 13,000 booths. "We are very hopeful that people of Delhi will vote for the Congress in the MCD elections as they are fed up with the BJP-AAP," he said.
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